HomeNewsBriefColombia Vote Favors Peace Process, but Numerous Obstacles Remain
BRIEF

Colombia Vote Favors Peace Process, but Numerous Obstacles Remain

COLOMBIA / 16 JUN 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Voters in Colombia have reelected incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos, whose electoral platform centered on continuing peace processes with the country's guerrilla groups, but any peace agreement could still be a long way off. 

On June 15, Santos was reelected with 7,816,986 votes -- just slightly over 50 percent of the registered ballots -- defeating Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, the candidate representing former President Alvaro Uribe's Democratic Center party, who received 45 percent of the vote. 

Santos' victory guaranteed the continuation of the peace process the government has been carrying out with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) since October 2012, and the preliminary peace talks currently underway with National Liberation Army (ELN), which were formally announced five days before the election. Zuluaga, on the other hand, had said he would suspend the peace negotiations if he won, unless the FARC agreed to a unilateral ceasefire.

InSight Crime Analysis

In spite of Santos' reelection, any peace agreement with the FARC or the ELN is far from guaranteed. Santos' slim victory over Zuluaga suggests the country remains divided over the peace talks, and since any eventual agreement will be submitted to a referendum, Santos will have to build broad support for the peace process.

To consolidate that support, the president may be tempted to speed negotiations and push for an agreement with the FARC by the end of 2014. However, there would be numerous obstacles to such a move. 

The FARC and the ELN could take advantage of Santos' reelection to move at a slower pace and make additional demands. As noted by El Tiempo, the FARC will likely want to ensure Santos' second term policies are conducive to the agreements both parties have reached on land reform, political participation and illegal drugs.  

SEE ALSO: 50 Years of the FARC: War, Drugs, and Revolution

It is also unclear how much progress has actually been made at the negotiating table. While Colombian officials have led the public to believe three points on the agenda have already been resolved, some highly controversial elements have yet to be discussed. Negotiators have said in the past no deal will be signed until agreement is reached on all items. 

The peace process is further complicated by the fact that elements of the FARC and ELN are heavily involved in the illegal drug trade. Although the FARC has promised to cut all ties to drug trafficking organizations once an agreement is finalized, some units could reject demobilization and go into business for themselves.

share icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CHILE / 28 DEC 2015

A new barrier to Latin American integration has emerged in northern Chile. People who wish to reach this southern nation…

COLOMBIA / 15 DEC 2010

As drug trafficking organizations make aerial eradication more difficult, authorities must rely on manual eradication, in which they are vulnerable to…

EX-FARC MAFIA / 14 JAN 2017

At the end of every year, InSight Crime looks into the crystal ball and predicts what the big criminal risks…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events - Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…